Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


WHY YOU SHOULD NOT SERVE GOD

God by definition is what on which all depends for its existence and so he alone matters.  He alone is to be loved totally and put first.

* There is no point in serving God who has all he needs when he is almighty. The only way out of this is for Christians to say that God determines morality in such a way that hate would be right if he commanded it. But back to this God who we are supposed to love and who does not need the love. Why not serve good instead? In other words, why not do good because it is good and not because God commands it? It cannot be good to put a person however great before goodness so you have to serve goodness. You cannot give him all your love unless you save a bit for goodness but if he is goodness itself to love him is the same as to love goodness. From this it follows that if God should be served, it is just because he is powerful for good is not worried about for it could be served without putting all the devotion on him. It is clear, an act is wrong not because it is bad but because God says it is bad. The God concept is in opposition to morality. To refrain from stealing because God says so is evil because you should be doing it because stealing really is wrong. God is only useful for those people who want blind obedience to what they say God wants so God gets the blame while they reap the benefits.
 
*God sees all. He can forbid women to have abortions even to save their lives because he sees that in the long run this will have slightly better results than allowing the women. So this tells us that we should obey God despite the consequences for our perspective is too limited. This belief that God can command what seems bad to us has led the Roman Catholic Church to establish the Inquisition and kills thousands of heretics and witches over Europe. It has led Islamic fanatics to deliver a horrible death to thousands in New York.
 
*Suppose I need healing of the vice of impatience. I pray to God to help me. If he wouldn’t have helped me without praying then he is encouraging my sin. He is not worth worshipping. If he would have helped me then what do I need to pray for? I cannot learn to be patient unless there are people to make me feel like being impatient.  So God has to encourage them to sin for me. Prayer is the biggest dose of arrogance and hypocrisy possible. What is so special about me that I ask that my virtue be put first?

* If there is a good God then he would do infinite good for me and so to sin against him is to insult him infinitely by throwing back the infinite love he has for me in his face. If I believe in him my sins are worse than they would be if I did not. Also all sin is equal. Doing little damage is as bad as murder.

* It is certain that happiness is found when you reduce your emotional needs to a minimum. Then you are also less under the grip of fear which is the root of all evil. If there is a God then we have to need him so that is an extra need and therefore the God belief is bad. I have to pine for proper union with him in Heaven.
 
* If you commit a crime and blame the policeman who catches you, you will never learn. If you do not blame but put the responsibility on the policeman that is no better. Or you might argue that it is worse to impute responsibility rather than blame. Why? For unfair blaming is obviously childish while unfair attribution of responsibility is less obvious and blatant. Remember blame is about anger and disapproval while responsibility is about a person bringing about effect and it is about acknowledging their power to do better. Believers in God necessarily have to argue that God is ultimately responsible for everything. As he gives us free will, he is responsible ultimately and far more than we are (wouldn't you be far more to blame than your friend if he commits murder under your watch when you the one doing magic to give him free will?), for the evil we do. How can you really learn from your mistakes and evil deeds if that is your attitude? If you learn it is only in so far as you doubt the existence of God. No wonder religious people tend to commit the same sins over and over again. It is the same pattern, doing wrong and then saying sorry to God, over and over again. That is a bad enough trait but worsened by the fact that religion invents sins so harmless things are condemned as wrong. Believers hold that faith is a gift from God so he is declared responsible if a person does not believe.

* God implies altruism, the doctrine that I should hurt myself to help others and get nothing out of it, and since I am most sure that I exist it follows that I should put my development in altruism first and let others walk all over me. Love has to start with God and not with loving myself as the commandment of Jesus suggested, “The greatest commandment is to love God with all your powers. The next is to love your neighbour as yourself for he says so.” That blocks you from loving yourself for all love starts with self-love. You cannot love others unless you love yourself. Or if you like, if you think you are bad then when you give yourself to others you are offering them what you think is bad so you don’t respect them – not genuinely. Egoism teaches that we must be good to others for in doing so we grasp how to love ourselves. Liking means finding satisfaction so when you like a person you are not valuing that person but how they make you feel. You cannot do anything unless you like it under the circumstances – making the best of a bad situation at least. Liking is a selfish act and it is one we all commend for we prefer people to have warm feelings for what we do and are.

 

* Religion says that nothing about a person defines that person as a person. You are not defined by your sexuality. Or your intelligence. Or the colour of your skin. There is more to you than any of these things. Christians say that the only thing that defines a person is that they are a beloved creation of God. This syrupy doctrine is nasty and accuses anybody who does not believe enough or who does not believe full stop of obscuring the truth about people and harming them.  Why does religion call us all sinners as if we can be defined by our sins?

Believers in God say we must love the sinner and hate the sin for we are all sinners. This is dishonest because if you say John’s essay is stupid that is the same as calling John stupid though many pretend it is not. Religion does this which shows it is wilful dishonesty and false charm. This makes altruism impossible for it is meant to be free from lies but this idea that to oppose the sin is not to oppose the sinner makes it all lies and whitewash. So egoism is the only option. It is bad enough to be an unbeliever and promote the lie of loving wrongdoers and hating wrong but it is worse to say that God does the same, to blacken the being you say is all good. Despite all its “love” for God, God-religion is intrinsically blasphemous and deepens vice. In time, belief in God should lead to violence for when the concept corrupts that means logically that if you think it is good to believe in God then it is okay to believe that it is his will that you should hurt people and persecute atheists.
 
How can we say love sinner and hate sin is about focusing on a person's good side when we don't focus on the good side of thieves and murderers but jail them? Love the sinner and hate the sin cannot be taken seriously. It only creates pick and mix religionists and hypocrites.
 
Religion sometimes says that God considers each person to be of the utmost significance. It says this makes belief in God healthy. Religion says God made us all to experience this health, this intimacy with him who thinks we are so special. But we cannot live a normal life without sin. Eating out instead of giving the money to the poor is a sin. How could we feel we are special? Evil is bad enough without believing in a God who is offended by it as well. A person who believes that hurting people is wrong but not in God will believe he only hurts people when he does wrong. A person who believes in God has to worry about wronging God as well. Also, strictly speaking God doesn't think anything or have any opinions. These only happen to beings that don't know things but God knows all things. To say that God knows you are special sounds ridiculous and like false self-esteem. True self-esteem is taking pride in your good points and your flaws as well but for God only perfection will do. You can't be special to a God who could have made another person instead of you and who may let you go to Hell forever and who treats most of us like we are not special. You can't be special to a God that is so big. And God doesn't have feelings either. Saying he likes us and loves us is not far from symbolism.
 
Suppose we believe God knows we are special. Believing makes it as if it were true. It is true for us that God thinks we are of the greatest importance to him. We are really giving ourselves the significance. God can only condemn this. Even if God really exists and really regards us as that important we don't know that. We are still creating our belief, we are still making a god out of our belief in him. We are really making an idol. Human nature cannot allow me to be happy with a God who regards everybody on earth as being of extreme importance as well as me. Believers who feel that they get meaning from belief in God for life and feel warmed by it are thinking in terms of ,"God loves me," and paying only lip service to the idea that God loves others just as much. Also, God must infinitely value himself so there is no room for him valuing anything less than himself.
 
Believing that God regards you as of extreme importance will make you feel your life has less meaning not more if you are unable to feel that the doctrine gives you meaning or is important to you. It will compound the lack of meaning you will experience because it will make you feel like you are a flawed and bad person. If God made us for finding meaning in God and religion says he has done this then it follows that you are evil if you are unable to value God so much that your belief in God confers meaning on your life.
 
If you are horrified by a baby's suffering, there is no way you will believe and feel that God is all good and all powerful and lets that happen. You can only manage to believe if your degree of connectedness with the baby is weak enough. The more you are connected to the baby the more you will think and act with generosity and compassion for the child. Feeling enough of a distance from the child makes you capable of disrespecting that child in your heart by holding on to your God belief and thus condoning what you think he has allowed to happen. You feel more connected to God which is why condoning what he has done is more important than considering the suffering as utterly vile and inexcusable. If the latter is the reality you refuse to acknowledge it.
 
Albert Camus noted how that no matter what society does to put criminals off crime, crime persists to an excessive degree. His answer was that it was "because the instincts that are warring in man are not, as the law claims, constant forces in a state of equilibrium". In other words, instead of freely being ourselves we suffer a bias towards committing crime and doing things to try and arrest that bias isn't going to work. This alone makes us sceptical about the sincerity of Christians who claim to be so upset about the baby.
 
It is a fact that we put what other people think, meaning people we are close to or admire or fear, before morality or moral principles. For example, the moral soldier can change into a psychopath and a rapist when he sees his comrades turning evil during wartime. Milgram has performed experiments that show that strong moral beliefs are not enough to make one resist a command to do great evil coming from an authority figure (page 147 Born to Believe, Andrew Newberg MD and Mark Robert Waldman, Free Press, New York, 2006). Also, "it doesn't take much to evoke hostile, prejudicial, and destructive acts in people who would normally be considered moral citizens" (page 143, ibid). Is it such a mystery then how a seemingly good person is evil in so far as he or she praises the evil of God and whitewashes it? God being a bigger authority figure than any person will be more effective at inspiring evil masked as sweetness than any human being could be. To say you believe in God is to ask for suspicion.
 
Shame and embarrassment when excessive can make the person aggressive and dangerous while guilt involves the person starting to feel sorry for those he has hurt. Guilt is best at leading a person to change her or his behaviour for the better. But if God comes first then how could guilt do this? You cannot feel sorry for God for he doesn't need anything! God is only a hindrance.
 
God giving me the utmost importance means my life is meaningful to God but not me. It is like the master valuing the slave. That doesn't do the slave any good. And it is ridiculous to say that God needs me for anything for he is all-powerful. God-based spirituality is all contradictory nonsense.

We do not need religious faith and need to rescue people from it because it is an unnecessary evil and something extra for people to fight and kill over. We can have right and wrong and comfort without it. God could do miracles of healing without it if we are worried about them. God has no need for religion or even for us to be theists provided we listen to his voice in our hearts and use our heads so religious faith is anti-God. Who cares if we think the voice is our own inner voice?
 
Belief in God is harmful for the very concept of God is harmful in its implications and in its nature.  You need to believe what is true before you can get what you want. Without correct beliefs you risk settling for less, getting the wrong thing or losing the good things.  God and religion claim to be of major importance even more so than a good career or marriage.  Thus they are the biggest risk and they want you to irresponsibly take the risk.

Religion insists that because God made us for himself and to live in a love relationship with us by mutual consent then no one hates God without first and chiefly hating herself or himself.  No one is indifferent to God without chiefly being indifferent to herself or himself.  But none of that fits what we know of most people who hate God or don't care.  Thus we are not made for God!  If you hate, you deserve compassion for hate is bad for you.  And as indifference is the true enemy of love not hate it follows that believers will judge you for not caring and judge severely or at least think they should!

Religion says that if you drop God, there will be a void and some shoddy replacement for God will run into it like excrement.  They say, "The atheist turns himself into a god and an absolute and will realise how wrong he is when it is too late and his life is in ruins and his heart as hard as ice."  To accuse people of hating God is nasty.  The proper approach is to see it without judging it.  To be angry with them for hating God for God deserves better is nasty for you cannot put a belief, God, before a person.  To hint that an atheist is on the way to moral and social ruin is hate speech.

Belief in a god or God does not necessarily make anybody caring or honest.  There is no direct link so it is right to say that it has nothing to do with making you care or grow in integrity.  Thus making those beliefs of supreme importance is wrong and evil.  And a grave evil at that in principle!
 
The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, Edited by Michael Martin, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2007